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Isle of Bute Highland Games 2019

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Isle of Bute Highland Games 2019

Welcome to Bute Highland Games

What better way to indulge yourself in the pure flavour of Scotland than to experience at first hand the magic of a Highland Games set on a beautiful Scottish island?

The wonderful and haunting music of pipe bands; the supreme expertise and skill of highland dancers; the prowess and strength of heavy event athletes and wrestlers; the enthusiasm and energy of track runners; the sheer endurance of road race competitors and an opportunity to see just what shinty is all about!

……. so come and enjoy:

Pipe Bands & Drum Majors

Highland Dancing

Senior Heavy Events

Junior Heavy Events

Junior Athletics


10k Road Race

Junior Shinty

Family attractions

…..…. And much more!

Gates open at 8.30.am with Highland Dancing starting off the day’s numerous sporting events at 10.00.am.  The Opening Ceremony will be performed at 12.00.noon when our Chairman will introduce the Chieftain for this year’s Games. All activities will take place in and around the main arena (The Stadium, High Street, Rothesay PA20 9BN), including the start and finish of the Road Race, and the whole proceedings will culminate in the Pipes’ & Drums’ Salute to the Chieftain; presentation of prizes; and the Parade of the Bands down the High Street at approximately 5.00 pm.

A day to remember for all the right reasons!


A Historic Note

The origins of Highland Games in Scotland can be traced back many hundreds of years. Clan Chiefs used the Games to recruit staff.  Winners of races made excellent couriers, whilst winners of strength events made fine bodyguards and soldiers.

Rival Clan Chiefs often used to match their champions against each other at important Highland Gatherings and great status was placed on winning and losing.

Dancers and pipers also became part of the household staff of Clan Chiefs, not merely for their entertainment value but also for the esteem and glory which their skills and success inevitably reflected on their masters.

King Malcolm is thought to have begun the Royal association with the Highland Games at Braemar during the 11th Century.  It was Queen Victoria, who dearly loved Scotland, who later made modern Highland Games so universally popular from the 19th Century onwards.

Although Games were held on Bute in earlier times, their exact history is unclear.  The modern Games, as we know them, began in 1947 under the auspices of Bute Shinty and the Amateur Athletic Sports’ Club.

The Founder Secretary, Tom B McMillan, served as Honorary Secretary from 1947 till 1989.  He remained active on the Organising Committee as our Vice Chieftain until his sad death during 1993.  In 1989 Gordon Sutherland was appointed Honorary Secretary until he stepped down at the AGM in June 2008.  At the same AGM David Anderson was unanimously appointed Honorary Secretary continuing in that role until Steve Holliday ‘took up the gauntlet’ at the AGM in 2015 to become only the fourth holder of that post in 68 years!

These Games have gradually grown in status and strength to their present position as one of the major events on the Highland Games’ calendar.

All competitions at the Bute Highland Games are run in accordance with Amateur Rules and Regulations.  The preparatory and organisational work is all carried out by volunteers.


All of these words have been taken off the official website




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